The Playwrights Database
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below is a list of Ruth Raynor's plays - click on a Play Title for more information
A women's group is closing. Leslie, the leader, is under pressure. She wants to tell them but things keep getting in the way. Time is running out. If Geordie Bruce Willis can't help, and Noel Edmonds is no good either, who will save the day? This play is about finding light through the rubble and the mess. It's about avoiding promises of a better life that actually makes things worse and searching for moments of laughter and understanding in the noise and confusion.
Background about the play (from Ruth Raynor - Writer): I began this project with an interest in the kind of North-East plays I loved, plays like Alan Plater's Close the Coal House Door, Tom Hadaway's The Filleting Machine, Lee Hall's The Pitmen Painters. They were all about work and industry, us and them, when you knew which side you were on and experiences were shared. But I wondered why revive those old plays? And if not, how to make stories about the ways things are now; when people's experiences of being in work/ being out of work often don't play out in quite the same way? A broader research project grew out of those questions. It seeks to understand and communicate women's lived experiences of austerity in the North East of England. What became clear was that while austerity might seem coherent it affects people differently: it surfaces as a woman is moved from income support to job-seekers allowance, as flowers in a public space are allowed to die, in an empty room and the bedroom tax, in many other places, at many other times, with different degrees of violence. This project addresses the challenge of communicating such fragmented effects. Making this play then, became a question of how to make a relatable story without forcing clarity on to austerity's mess. Perhaps more importantly, it also becomes a question of how to emphasize the humour and generosity that always persists, without letting austerity politics off the hook. This play was developed as part of a PhD in human geography, supported by the ESRC, at the University of Durham. It was built with the kindness of a Tyneside women's group. Participants took part in a range of workshops and interviews and gave feedback on two drafts of the script. Because of cuts and changes to the terms of funding the group is no longer running. It seems right that any profits from this production will be given back to the family support service in which the group was embedded, though that service will be kept anonymous for the purposes of privacy. Staging of this production has been funded by the ESRC Impact Accelerator Fund, which indicates possibilities for thinking between the arts and social sciences to find new modes of income generation. We have also been commissioned by the ESRC through an N8 initiative to report on alternative ways of mapping the impacts of this project. This means that we can create a model for evaluating socially engaged, co-produced creative projects that are measured in excess of quantitative, and particularly economic outputs.
Alphabetti Theatre, The Basement 16 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AW 14 Jul 2015
To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies
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